Matthew Odle

Outrageously Ambitious 2019 Goals

☰ Table of Contents



  • Buy no new games (this is going to be a hard one, but I probably spent more in 2018 on games alone than in any other year, between our new Switch, PS4 sales, Humble Bundles, and Steam sales).
  • Play entire collection of unplayed Steam games (at least one session each, finishing them is not required).
  • Release these games into the wild ( for the build-em-up, DO droplet or GKE or Amazon Cloud or IBM for the text adventure)
    • flask message queue text adventure
    • build-em-up katamari Unity 3D PC game
  • Prototype these games in Unity
    • For-profit wizard school
    • Arbitrary interview techniques simulator - we want independent thinkers, as long as they agree with us
    • Favoritism Inn Keep - build your mogul empire, but don’t piss off the peasants before you have the monarchy in your pocket
    • You’re The Best, Too
    • Arbitrary Trophy
    • Build-em-up Katamari
    • Lick the Ice
  • Prototype these games in HTML5 Canvas
    • Tetris (NES)
    • Super Mario (NES)
    • Chip and Dale (NES)
    • Star Tropics (NES)
    • Defender (atari)
    • Berzerk (atari)
    • Secret Quest (atari)
    • Asteroids (atari)
    • Super Breakout (atari)
    • Tempest (atari)
    • Ms Pacman (atari)
    • Frogger (atari)
    • Spy Hunter (atari)


I love writing almost as much as reading and playing games. It’s like a window into my past self when I discover something I wrote some time afterward. It also helps me focus my thoughts on various topics and calm my anxieties. Anne Lamott: “Writing is, for some of us, the latch that keeps the door of the pen closed, keeps those crazy ravenous dogs contained.”

However, I don’t feel like I write as much as I should. And when I do, I tend to feel like it has to be perfect. I’m setting a goal of writing 1000 words every day, whether they’re publishable or not. Stream-of-conciousness is how I find interesting ideas half the time. As Weinberg puts it: “collecting fieldstones”. Or as Anne Lamott put it in Bird by Bird: “You don’t care about those first three pages; those you will throw out, those you needed to write to get to that fourth page, to get to that one long paragraph that was what you had in mind when you started, only you didn’t know that, couldn’t know that, until you got to it.”

More Anne Lamott quotes on writing (I got carried away):

“The unconscious mind is the cellar where a little boy sits who creates your characters, and he hands them up to you through the cellar door. He might as well be cutting out paper dolls. He’s peaceful; he’s just playing. You can’t will yourself into being receptive to what the little boy has to offer, and you can’t buy a key that will let you into the cellar.”

“If you find that you start a number of stories or pieces that you don’t ever bother finishing, that you lose interest or faith in them along the way, it may be that there is nothing at their center about which you care passionately.”

“Take the attitude that what you are thinking and feeling is valuable stuff, and then be naive enough to get it all down on paper.”

“Breaking through the writer’s block is like catching amoebic dysentery. You’ll just be sitting there minding your own business, and the next minute you’ll rush to your desk with an urgency you had not believed possible.”

“When people shine a little light on their monster, we find out how similar most of our monsters are.”

“Find your room or closet or wood or cave or abyss that you were told not to go into. Go in and look around for a long while, just breathing and taking it all in. Then you will be able to speak in your own voice and stay in the present moment. And that moment is home.”

“Writing is like building sand castles out of words. We believe, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.”

“So why does our writing matter? Because of the spirit. Because of the heart. Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul.”


  • Attain basic profiency in piano (whatever that means; maybe get to the point where when I sit down I can think of a few chord sequences that sound good, and can play some riffs from a few songs I like)
  • Record 100 songs (I’ve been using Audio Recorder on my phone to record myself playing acoustic songs on my guitar. I’ve got 15 recordings so far. Doing this has helped me to gain confidence, experiment with different styles and compare them, and to fix some qualities of my voice that I don’t like).


Read 98 books. Last year my goal was 49, because everyone picks 52 because 52 weeks, and I wanted wiggle room for vacations, etc. I only read 42. But 42 is still more than I read the previous year (37 read with goal of 30). I’m pretty motivated to read 2 books per week, and have been keeping up that pace for the last month.

Reading is probably the number one most important thing we can do with our time. Reading that someone else has observed what we have allows us to confirm what we have learned.

Learn Basic Pixel Art Skills


This one will be a little harder. I don’t have this as part of my established routine. I’ve been considering learning, but it’s always back-burner to everything else. I’m trying to make it a higher priority by including it in my main goals.

Update: 2019-01-01

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